Extra seat around the council table announced
The Local Government Commission has approved changes proposed to Taupō District Council’s representation model, meaning an extra seat will be added to the council table.
The seat will represent a new ward, the Taupō East Rural ward, which will cover Oruanui north of Poihipi Road, Broadlands, Rangitaiki, Taharua, and Wairakei-Aratiatia including Ohaaki and Wairakei Village.
The Local Government Commission visited the council earlier this year to hear an objection to the proposal and this week released its decision to support the changes. It was required to make a decision on the proposal because it meant an imbalance between representation and populations in some wards.
Head of democracy, governance and venues Tina Jakes said the decision meant there would now be 11 councillors and the mayor and boundary changes to the Taupō ward so it would now also encompass Kinloch.
“There were no other changes, with the two seats assigned to the Turangi/Tongariro ward and the one Mangakino/Pouakani seat remaining in place,” she said.
The Turangi Tongariro Community Board would also remain, but with a subdivision which meant that there would be four community board members to represent Turangi town and two members for the remaining Tongariro ward.
She said having two seats in the Turangi/Tongariro ward meant those two seats would represent 2,485 residents each. The Mangakino/Pouakani seat would represent 2,900 residents, the Taupō East Rural seat 3,067 and each of the seven Taupō seats 3,708.
The council reviews how its communities are represented every six years. Taupō District residents and ratepayers were given an opportunity to share their views both alongside the last Long-term Plan process and then through a second period of consultation after releasing the initial proposal in June and July 2018. This culminated in the final proposal that was accepted by the Local Government Commission after the hearing .